Juan R. Fabia

Juan R. Fabia



Nov 24, 1927 - Oct 30, 1992


HIGHEST RANK: Master Sargeant
HONORED BY: Children of M/SGT Juan R. Fabia


After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Philippine Scouts were fighting to hold Bataan. But with old weapons, no water or food, and low and ammunition and morale, the 9th of April, 1942, they surrendered to the Japanese. Juan was among 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners who were forced-marched 70 miles to a prison camp in what we now call the Bataan Death March. They had no water, food or medicine. Malaria was common among the prisoners. Many died due to malaria and malnutrition. Many prisoners were beaten, starved or killed with bayonets. Many died on the roadside. Juan was so sick with malaria he fell out of the marching column. The Japanese shot him in the leg and kicked him down a hill. The saw there was no movement from his frail body, assumed he was dead and left him. Juan regained consciousness and waited until after dark to crawl his way back up to the mountain to his home village. His family was grieving his death when he walked into the village because they heard he was captures and a prisoner. His father took him and made him drink the broth from bitter leaves which had a natural ingredient of quinine for the malaria. After his recovery, Juan fought Japanese soldiers as a guerilla fighter with other Filipino survivors. He then joined the U.S. Army to help them fight against the Japanese.